Author: Ed Vaca
This week I wanted to unpack faith. Do you have faith in a higher power, an eternal, an afterlife, God, gods, karma, miracles, zodiac signs, tarot cards? Although I am sure we are all at different levels of faith, types, or do not hold any faith in a specific belief, this is secondary to the focus of the conversation. The question I propose you all to ponder is:
“What exactly is faith to me?”
With that, I’d like to welcome you to take part in a thought experiment. Meditate on one idea and/or belief you feel you have faith in (I find that faith based beliefs that influence you frequently or in a major way in your life tend to be the most exciting to explore). Now, trying to be as specific and as detailed as you can, ask yourself: What exactly is it that I have faith in? If you feel you can’t describe it or do not believe it can be described or understood through language, ask yourself: How did I come to believe this or how was it described to me first? Is there another way to describe this? Thoughts on holy text? Check out link below maybe?
Next, I invite you to bring yourself to you earliest memory of when you first felt as though you consciously decided to hold or embrace your faith. Where were you? How did you feel? How did you get to where you were and where you are today?
Finally, I bolded the word decide because considering last week’s topic on free will, I am looking forward to some objections to the use of this word and delving into whether people truly choose their faith. This can transition us well into the pertinence of this topic because in my opinion, things that you believe directly influence your actions and as a result your life and legacy. All this to say, that if humans have any say in the beliefs they hold, why not meditate deeply on them, unpack them and examine how they affect our lives. Although I would never propose to tell anyone what to believe, I do agree with Hannibal Lokumbe in that, “Information can be liberating, but misinformation can be equally destructive.” Believing when there is no compelling evidence or information, even with good intentions, can be at the least a mistake.
How do you define faith?
Is there a possibility for us to reach a consensus on the definition of faith?
Are you free to choose your faith?
Here is some reading material to add a perspective on the topic: